Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Digging bunkers



The Maoists have transformed all the schools in Kalikot district into war zones. They have got students and teachers to dig bunkers in the playgrounds and erect poles to prevent security force helicopters from landing. The rebels use schools as training grounds to lecture students, hold Maoist cultural programs and for military training. Most of the bunkers lead to nearby jungles as an escape during attacks. Anyone who defies bunker digging is punished. Rebel leaders say the government school curriculum is useless. "We have been fighting and the bunkers aim at making practical education accessible to the common people," said a local rebel leader. Some of these bunkers are so long that they actually link adjacent villages. Villagers fear an army counterattack and are lying low. Primary school students who are not deployed for bunker digging play hide and seek in them. Teachers, students and even parents are not allowed to leave the village because the rebels need the manpower for digging. They have even imposed the 'one-house-one-bunker' policy. Under this, each house is supposed to have a bunker. Digging apart, students are made to work like sentries and collect firewood for the rebel's 'people's meeting' or cultural programs.



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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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